Tag Archives: whole foods

Food Sensitivities, Schoolwork and Kum Nye.

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It’s been a wild month for me and the above picture sort of sums up how I’m working on managing things. I’m so used to just giving up and letting everything fall to pieces, so this new found willingness to work towards recovering from a chaotic situation is both refreshing and terrifying. It’s interesting watching my perspective shift and being able to act as an observer to my thoughts both when I’m being rational and when I’m feeling myself getting ready to fly off the deep end.

Basically, I’m now conscious of the fact that I get to make a decision to either hit or not hit what I’ve always called my “Fuck It” switch. It’s kind of cool to know that I can say no to self-destructive and damaging behaviors, and also to know that I get to choose to be “good enough” instead of constantly beating myself into a stressed out puddle of mess for not being perfect. I may still wind up having to drop one of my courses, but I don’t have to let my entire life fall apart because of an illness and the resulting stress and anxiety.

This past week I met with a Naturopathic Nutritionist to discuss the terrible eczema which I struggle with and she did some muscle testing and we discussed my past and present eating habits. The results of the muscle testing shows that I am sensitive to a huge portion of my diet (soy, wheat, gluten in general, corn, soy and dairy are the main ones). I’m on a gentle bowel cleansing diet now in which I eat pretty normal foods, just without the things I’m sensitive to and with fewer added fats and oils and fewer raw foods. The bulk of my diet is currently steamed vegetables, green smoothies with ground seeds and nuts and a small amount of the grains which I do process well.

So far I’m feeling pretty good, but I must admit that I am really craving plain old whole wheat bread.  I ate a lot of sandwiches and wraps and veggie burgers for the past few months and I’m missing how easy grabbing something quick used to be. These changes in my eating habits will be affecting this blog in the near future as gluten free cooking is a new and exciting adventure for me and I’ll be sharing my successes and adventures here on a fairly regular basis.

Because I’m sensitive to so many of the things I ate on a daily basis, this is going to be a challenge. Thank-goodness that being plant-based and whole-foods based will make this transition a lot easier on me than it would be on someone who eats a standard American diet. The health food shops and exotic ingredients are already part of my routine and I really love exploring new ways of doing things. The only thing I’m currently really struggling to replace in my diet is soy sauce. I have found a great product called coconut aminos, but it’s not available locally and I can’t find anywhere in Canada to have it shipped from.  Amazon won’t send it to me and Amazon.ca doesn’t carry it. I may have to beg a Calgary friend to pick some up and mail it to me soon.

My Kum Nye books arrived the other day and they are exactly what I needed right now. I still have to kick myself in the bum to get myself to meditate daily, but I know that with consistent effort on my part this will eventually become a routine I love rather than a discipline I struggle with.

 

Walk In Beauty.

 

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Oil and Vinegar Potato Salad Recipe at Epicurious.com

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English: Golden Flesh Yukon Gold Potato

 

Oil and Vinegar Potato Salad Recipe at Epicurious.com. <-(to see the original article please click this link)

I’m going to make this potato salad tonight (and pair it with my constant companion, the chickpea cutlet), but instead of red wine vinegar I’m going to use rice wine vinegar (I’m in the mood for sometime lighter tasting). It should be pretty tasty. I’ll likely tweak the heck out of the seasoning as usual, and cut waaaay back on the oil – 1/4 cup of olive oil might taste really good, but it’s way more than is healthy for a type two diabetic like myself.

My current budget allows me to center my meals around rice, beans, tofu, and inexpensive vegetables and fruits (potatoes, apples, carrots, beats, onions, celery, gai lan, bok choy, turnip, cabbage etc etc). For the next little while the recipes I post AND try will mostly be “peasant” style cooking, which is quite honestly my favourite style of cooking most of the time. It’s not as much fun to read about, or share, but it makes me happy to know that I’m eating the way that people in less industrialized countries do. My love of cooking and baking comes from studying hippie-made cookbooks so, rustic is pretty much my default style.

I was sad to be thinking about putting this blog on hold, until I realized that I can’t possibly be the only person out there who is trying to get by on a plant-based diet on a college student sized budget (speaking of which – I start college in September).

Yield:

Makes 4 to 6 servings


For more of a bite, add two
to three teaspoons of whole grain mustard
along with the olive oil.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 5 medium), unpeeled <- I only peel potatoes or carrots if I’m doing something “fancy”
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Preparation:

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain. Cool to just warm, 10 to 15 minutes; peel potatoes. Cut each potato in half, then cut into 1/3-inch slices.

Place warm potatoes in large bowl. Stir red wine vinegar and sugar in small bowl until sugar dissolves, then drizzle over potatoes. Toss to coat. Mix in onion slices. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool to room temperature.

Add olive oil and parsley to potatoes. Toss well and let marinate at least 20 minutes and up to 2 hours at room temperature.

Vegan Recipe: Falafel Sliders – YouTube

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This recipe sounds amazing. Falafel is TOTALLY one of my favourite foods of all time. I’m constantly looking for a low fat/oil falafel recipe which has the right texture to totally fullfill my craving.

Falafel Sliders with Avocado Hummus
Serves 4

Make-Ahead Tip:
Uncooked Falafel Sliders can be made in advance and kept refrigerated until ready to cook. Tahini Sauce can be made in advance and kept refrigerated.

FALAFEL SLIDERS
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, divided
½ red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, quartered
5 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
½ cup packed fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup garbanzo flour (or other flour of choice)
2 tablespoons olive oil

AVOCADO HUMMUS
¼ cup chickpeas, reserved from sliders
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
1/3 cup packed fresh Italian parsley
¼ cup olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne

TAHINI SAUCE
½ cup tahini
½ cup water
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt

14 mini buns or dinner rolls sliced in half, toasted
2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced

To make the Falafel Sliders: Reserve ¼ cup chickpeas for the Avocado Hummus. Place remaining chickpeas, onions, garlic, tomatoes, parsley, cumin, coriander, salt, and flour in a food processor and pulse until combined, stopping frequently to scrape down sides. Using the palms of your hands, form mixture into 2-inch by ½-inch patties.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and pan-fry patties in batches, letting cook about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until nicely browned. Do not crowd the pan. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels.

To make the Avocado Hummus: Combine ¼ cup chickpeas, avocado, parsley, oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne in food processor and puree. Adjust seasoning to taste.

To make the Tahini Sauce: Puree tahini, water, garlic, lemon juice, and salt until smooth.

To serve: Layer the Falafel Sliders, Avocado Hummus, Tahini Sauce, and sliced tomato on the buns.”

 

Source:

Vegan Recipe: Falafel Sliders – YouTube.

Apple Fritter Cups

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The Happy Herbivore's Apple Fritter Cups.

The Happy Herbivore’s Apple Fritter Cups.

These are another of The Happy Herbivore’s great low fat, plant-based recipes. I LOVE apple fritters, but I for sure don’t need all of the deep frying and white flour and crazy amounts of sugar which generally accompany them.

I have to admit that this is my first time making these, and although I quite like the flavor, the texture seems to be somewhat too “gluey” for my liking. I think that what they need is some chia gel or banana or something like that to help give them some more “poof” and body. The recipe itself is pleasing enough to make me want to fiddle with it until it serves my needs.

Last Night’s Supper and Today’s Happy Sprouts.

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The Happy Herbivore Abroad’s Carolina Casserole interpreted by me. (I had no black eyed peas, so I used romano beans).

The Happy Herbivore Abroad’s Carolina Casserole interpreted by me. (I had no black eyed peas, so I used romano beans).

Last night I decided to try out another of the Happy Herbivore’s recipes (I have and use all but her newest book) and this one was a winner for sure. I would like to try this with kale in place of the collards (my mom and boyfriend both find collards a touch bitter) and perhaps a bit more tomato, as the cornbread topping sucked up a little more of the tomato sauce than I would have liked. However, this is still a really tasty dish, and was a snap to throw together. I’ll certainly be keeping this one handy and will post updates if I come up with any really awesome and exceptionally tasty ideas for this dish (I pull apart and rebuild recipes on a regular basis, so this recipe won’t survive without being tweaked to our household’s tastes).

My Happy Sprouts :)

My Happy Sprouts 🙂

I’m not sure what your grocery budget looks like, but mine is TINY. One of the ways that I help meet our nutritional needs is by sprouting. I LOVE kitcheny-stuff which is half cooking, half grade four science class and sprouting is indeed a bit of both.

Sprouts are terrific thrown in all sorts of things and it’s fun knowing that even in the coldest part of winter part of our meal was grown by me.

Overnight, No-Cook Refrigerator Oatmeal

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Overnight, No-Cook Refrigerator Oatmeal. (click the link to see the article)

We mostly make hot oatmeal as our night-time snack (pimped out with dried, fresh and or frozen fruits, cinnamon, chia, seeds, nuts, nut butters, cocoa, brown sugar, agave etc), but these No-Cook ones sound allot like the homemade muesli I often make during the warm months. Of course, I use all plant-based ingredients (plant milks and yoghurt in place of dairy, agave to replace the honey etc).

I’m totally going to give these a try sometime soon.

 

Important Note:

I will and do often post omni recipes, because more often than not I cook things BASED OFF of other recipes, but I make them plant based and will make suggestions so you can do so as well if you choose to. I believe that learning how to veganize standard recipes is a really good step in the right direction for most people who are making dietary, or lifestyle changes. Being able to think on your feet will/does really make the whole transitional process much easier.

 

Oh My Muffins!

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It’s so easy to take pretty much any muffin recipe and make it vegan. I’ve been using this basic whole wheat muffin recipe for years (I jazz it up with things like dried, frozen or fresh fruit, cinnamon, shredded coconut, dark vegan chocolate chips, etc depending on my mood).

Blueberry Raspberry Crumble Muffins

This is my “tweaked” version of the veganised recipe.

Original Recipe:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together all dry ingredients

Mix together all wet ingredients

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